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Saturday, April 4th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 16:1-7.


Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil, solemnity – Year B

4 April 2015

Go and tell his disciples and Peter,

‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 16:1-7.

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'”

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Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil, solemnity – Year B

4 April 2015

Old Calendar: Holy Saturday — Easter Vigil

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On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his suffering and death. The altar is left bare, and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated. Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.

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Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest; it has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation. The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function. Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns. After the great battle He is resting in peace, but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering…The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible….Jesus’ enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.

Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart. When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.

According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary: she is the “credentium collectio universa” (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73). Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord’s tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of his resurrection.

The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church: while the body of her Son lays in the tomb and his soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation from the shadow of darkness to his ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death.

Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

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Although we are still in mourning, there is much preparation during this day to prepare for Easter. Out of the kitchen comes the smells of Easter pastries and bread, the lamb or hams and of course, the Easter eggs.

There are no liturgies celebrated this day, unless the local parish priest blesses the food baskets. In Slavic countries there is a blessing of the traditional Easter foods, prepared in baskets: eggs, ham, lamb and sausages, butter and cheeses, horseradish and salt and the Easter breads. The Easter blessings of food owe their origin to the fact that these particular foods, namely, fleshmeat and milk products, including eggs, were forbidden in the Middle Ages during the Lenten fast and abstinence. When the feast of Easter brought the rigorous fast to an end, and these foods were again allowed at table, the people showed their joy and gratitude by first taking the food to church for a blessing. Moreover, they hoped that the Church’s blessing on such edibles would prove a remedy for whatever harmful effects the body might have suffered from the long period of self-denial. Today the Easter blessings of food are still held in many churches in the United States, especially in Slavic parishes.

If there is no blessing for the Easter foods in the parish, the father of the family can pray the  Blessing over the Easter foods.

It is during the night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday that the Easter Vigil is celebrated. The service begins around ten o’clock, in order that the solemn vigil Mass may start at midnight.

Activities

  • Today we remember Christ in the tomb. It is not Easter yet, so it’s not time for celebration. The day is usually spent working on the final preparations for the biggest feast of the Church year. The list of suggested activities is long, but highlights are decorating Easter eggs and attending a special Easter food blessing.
  • For families with smaller children, you could create a miniature Easter garden, with a tomb. The figure of the risen Christ will be placed in the garden on Easter morning.
  • Another activity for families is creation of a paschal candle to use at home.
  • The  Directory on Popular Piety discusses some of the various devotions related to Easter, including the Blessing of the Family Table, Annual Blessing of Family Home, the Via Lucis and the Visit to the Mother of the Risen Christ.
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CatholicCulture.org

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Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil, solemnity – Year B

4 April 2015

Commentary of the day

The Roman Missal
The Easter proclamation: the “Exsultet”

“You have brightened this night with the radiance of the risen Christ” (Collect of the Easter Night Mass)

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels! Exult, all creation around God’s throne! Jesus Christ, our King, is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Savior shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father, and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father.

This is our Passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain, whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night when first you saved our fathers: you freed the people of Israel from their slavery and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!…
This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave…

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer! Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night Scripture says: “The night will be as clear as day: it will become my light, my joy.” … Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled with God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night, receive our evening sacrifice of praise, your Church’s solemn offering. Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God. Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night! May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil, solemnity – Year B

4 April 2015

Saint of the day

St. Isidore of Seville, Archbishop (+ 636)

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SAINT ISIDORE
Archbishop
(c. 560-636)

        Isidore was born of a ducal family, at Carthagena in Spain. His two brothers, Leander, Archbishop of Seville, Fulgentius, Bishop of Ecija, and his sister Florentina, are Saints. As a boy he despaired at his ill success in study, and ran away from school. Resting in his flight at a roadside spring, he observed a stone, which was hollowed out by the dripping water. This decided him to return, and by hard application he succeeded where he had failed. He went back to his master, and with the help of God became, even as a youth, one of the most learned men of the time. He assisted in converting Prince Recared, the leader of the Arian party; and with his aid, though at the constant peril of his own life, he expelled that heresy from Spain.

Then, following a call from God, he turned a deaf ear to the entreaties of his friends, and embraced a hermit’s life. Prince Recared and many of the nobles and clergy of Seville went to persuade him to come forth, and represented the needs of the times, and the good he could do, and had already done, among the people. He refused, and, as far as we can judge, that refusal gave him the necessary opportunity of acquiring the virtue and the power which afterwards made him an illustrious Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

  On the death of his brother Leander he was called to fill the vacant see. As a teacher, ruler, founder, and reformer, he labored not only in his own diocese, but throughout Spain, and even in foreign countries.

        He died in Seville on April 4, 636, and within sixteen years of his death was declared a Doctor of the Catholic Church.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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